Reflections on Autumn
Well, another fall has come and gone. Oh, I know it’s just November 11 but that’s the talk I hear from a lot of nature photographers. It seems like for many the only thing good about autumn is the two to three weeks of beautiful fall foliage. Considering how spectacular those two to three weeks can be I kind of understand where they’re coming from—anything after that pales in comparison. Perhaps, but I’m not quite sure about that. I love photographing fall foliage as much as anyone else but I believe autumn has so much more to offer than just colorful leaves and reflections.
Where I live in western Kentucky we are well past peak fall foliage. Many trees are already bare and the rest of them will be soon. Even so, I’m excited because I know before long the great flocks of snow and speckled geese will be arriving at the Wildlife Management Area nearby. They will be joined by tundra swans and a number of other species that we do not see the rest of the year. The return of the birds is as much a part of autumn as the turning of the leaves.
Another thing I like about late fall is the new vistas that are available. When the trees are bare you can see into places and spaces not possible when the trees are covered with leaves. A walk in the woods takes on a whole new look and feeling in late autumn. The incredible patterns of tree branches hidden when covered with leaves in and of themselves become a wonder to behold. In some ways there is more to see in late fall than at other times of the year.
Upon reflection it seems kind of strange that so many people associate autumn primarily with colorful leaves. There is certainly far more to fall than beautiful foliage. Perhaps if we could remember this we would enjoy the season more. And that goes for each of the seasons. Winter is about more than snow, spring is about more than flowers blooming, and summer is about more than sunny days. The Creator has blessed us with so much to see, experience and enjoy throughout the entire year but if we are not careful we’ll miss a lot of it. I suggest we be careful…
(I took the pictures shown above near my home in Henderson County, Kentucky.)